COLUMBIA, S.C. — The path to success for new teachers could be a little smoother, thanks to a new University of South Carolina teacher induction program sponsored by Colonial Life.
The company’s $25,000 commitment to the university’s Educational Foundation will help pay for stable and ongoing support for graduates and new teachers in their first three years in the classroom.
“Teacher support is the key to increased retention,” said Jon Pedersen, dean of USC’s College of Education. “If we could reduce the number of teachers leaving their current teaching positions by just 25 percent, we could save districts nearly $6 million annually.”
The three-year Carolina Teacher Induction Program will help new teachers through the often-difficult first years of teaching by building relationships with new graduates and teachers, offering professional development and instructional coaching, and sharing best practices.
“Education is a main focus of Colonial Life’s community giving,” said Marie McGehee, community relations manager. “This program is a strong fit for our efforts to support education by equipping teachers and students with tools that help drive workforce development and economic success across the state.”
Colonial Life has a long history of partnerships with the University of South Carolina, including naming rights at the Colonial Life Arena, support for the installation of a world-class sculpture at the Darla Moore School of Business and providing tuition scholarships through the Arnold School of Public Health.
The company also sponsors several programs to support educators, including the Midlands Educator Leadership Experience and the Strong Schools Grants program. Employees contribute to the company’s educational outreach efforts by volunteering with reading, mentoring and financial literacy partnerships at local schools; assisting with spring, summer and winter camps at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden; and coordinating after-school enrichment programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.